The new Roadster has been reduced to the essentials

MILWAUKEE (April 18, 2016) - The name Sportster is associated with almost sixty years of history at Harley-Davidson , and the youngest member of this model family also lives up to its name: The new Harley-Davidson® Roadster™ is a pure driving machine, reduced on what matters. It feels just as good on a trip into the city as it does on winding country roads beyond the city limits, and its powerful look sets clear accents.

“Since its introduction in 1957, the Sportster has continued to reinvent itself, and the new Roadster opens another chapter in the Sportster story,” explains Brad Richards, Director of Styling at Harley-Davidson Motor Company . “Over the decades, our customers have modified their Sportster models in a variety of ways. When designing the new roadsters, we combined several such styling genres. From the outset, however, the focus was on the intention to build a classy, ​​dynamic and slim driving machine that creates this fascinating synthesis of man, machine and road while on the move.”

The new roadster is one of the Harley-Davidson Dark Custom models . Their minimalist look is inspired by the contemporary design trend for stripped naked custom bikes and classic racing machines like the Harley-Davidson competition bikes of the 1950s and 60s.

2016HD14 The new Harley Davidson Roadster 1

“We wanted to give the roadster some of the DNA of the sporty KHR models of the fifties and, on the other hand, some of the soul of the later Sportster types tuned for the drag strip,” Richards outlines. “The reduced look of such machines served a single goal: performance.”

In terms of performance, the new Roadster also has a lot to offer: an air-cooled, 1200 cc V-twin that pushes the machine forward powerfully, and a chassis that features new wheels and tires as well as premium chassis components at the front and rear. The front wheel measures 19 inches and the rear wheel measures 18 inches. The light alloy wheels with ten double spokes were designed specifically for the new roadster and contribute significantly to its balanced and athletic appearance.

“When designing the wheels, we were inspired by classic wire spokes. They are the most complex cast spoke wheels we have ever designed,” explains Harley-Davidson Industrial Designer Ben McGinley. “The cast spokes cross from the rim to the hub like a wire-spoked wheel – a fascinating visual effect. From a technical point of view, the wheels are very light given their dimensions, which contributes to the agile handling of the roadsters.”

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The roadster's chassis is equipped with a new, 43 millimeter thick cartridge upside-down fork with progressively wound springs, which is mounted on massive and stiff fork clamps. The swingarm is mounted on high-quality emulsion struts with progressively wound springs. The suspension travel is 114 mm at the front and 81 mm at the rear. A double disc brake with floating discs on the front wheel is responsible for the deceleration. As with every Sportster, the brakes are ABS-assisted as standard.

With its stepped seat behind the 12.5 liter Sportster tank as well as the centrally mounted footrests and flat handlebars, the new roadster a committed seating position. To match the stripped look of the roadsters, the fenders have been chopped more than any other Sportster fender. The slots in the timing belt cover and in the heat shields of the silencers are reminiscent of the weight-reducing holes on racing parts, and a new, 10.2 centimeter large, analogue tachometer with integrated digital speedometer has been attached to the handlebar clamp. The rear indicators are mounted directly on the fender holders. A redesigned license plate holder and fastback seat design give the rear of the machine a tight and clean look.

“The silhouette of the seat literally flows into the rear fender,” describes McGinley, “and the quilted cover is reminiscent of the reinforcement pads on a motorcycle leather jacket. The fact that a passenger can be taken with you underlines the versatility of the machine.”

The Roadster is offered in three solid paint colors: Vivid Black with Charcoal Denim pinstripes, Black Denim with red pinstripes and Velocity Red Sunglo with red pinstripes. In addition, a two-tone version is available in Billet Silver and Vivid Black with burgundy pinstripes.

For more information, visit www.Harley-Davidson.com or contact your nearest authorized dealer.

Text and images : Copyright Harley-Davidson Oxford

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